A chance visit to a chiropractor locked this entrepreneur’s career in place and lessons from her childhood keep her going today.
By Nadiyah M. Jett
Ms. CEO Correspondent – June 2010
“My patients are like family members to me. I care about them immensely. From the back and neck pain perspective, I get the job done finding and correcting the cause of the problem without drugs or surgery, but how I practice chiropractic care goes way beyond fixing backs,” says Dr. Caroline von Fluegge, a chiropractor and entrepreneur in Atlanta.
“Dr. C”, as she is referred to by patients and friends, is the June 2010 Ms. CEO of the Month representing “Wellness and Bliss.” She is a trusted source of health and wellness wisdom by all who know her.
“I am looking at the whole person and striving to bring out more of what is working right instead of focusing on what is wrong. How can better health, both mentally and physically, help someone lead a more extraordinary life, whether as a mom, business person, athlete or child?” she asks.
After one conversation with Dr. Caroline von Fluegge, you can’t miss how passionate she is about her career as a chiropractor and entrepreneur. The international native (she was raised in New York, Germany and Italy) however, has not always had such a firm grasp on what field she wanted to pursue once she graduated from Tufts University.
After a stint interning at a design firm, art auction house and an advertising agency, the puzzle pieces of her professional future still had not fit together. “I felt like my mind, body, and spirit were in three different places. I needed a break to re-evaluate my life and figure out what the next step should be.”
And, her experience at the advertising agency, where she worked with an Ocean Spray account, just added to her laundry list of reasons why taking a second look at her career path was necessary.
After being the last to know that the agency lost the account and everyone associated with it had been fired, she said, “I decided then and there that I was not going to have anyone else determine whether or not I would be employed, what I would be paid, when I would take vacation or what I would be doing.”
Coincidently, after joining a friend on a visit to a chiropractor, the doctor’s treatment techniques not only persuaded Dr. Caroline to become a patient too, but it also convinced her to learn more about chiropractic care and finish a slew of pre-med classes to ultimately help others as she had been helped.
So, fast forward to today, and the puzzle pieces have formed a picture of Dr. Caroline with a full roster of patients who have sought out her therapeutic hands to remedy their aches or even aid in weight loss for the past 12 years.
“I hopped into the entrepreneur pool and just started swimming quickly. No time to look for water wings,” she says.
“Success comes from years of really hard work. It’s the behind the scenes stuff that no one watching you from the outside really sees or appreciates. There is no secret. You work your tail off when you are motivated and when you are absolutely exhausted. There’s no room for a prima donna. So, keep reinventing yourself and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Develop a strong foundation of belief in self. Ultimately, figure out what makes you happy and point your compass in that direction marching forward with optimism, humility and faith.”
Thus, Dr. Caroline finds time to be more than a “one trick pony,” as she says. So, she is also a chiropractic consultant for several world-renowned bands and the Thrashers (Atlanta’s hockey team). She also teaches wellness seminars at various companies; and these are just a few of the many aspects of her thriving business.
Ultimately, she says, “I make a difference. I have fun.”